High blood pressure during pregnancy could dramatically raise a woman's lifetime risk of stroke, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.
"We've found that women who had high blood pressure during pregnancy could be at higher risk of stroke, particularly if they had pre-eclampsia, which is a more severe form of high blood pressure," says Dr. Aravind Ganesh, a neurology resident at the University of Calgary. "The elevated risk of stroke could be as high as 40 per cent."
Dr. Ganesh, along with Neha Sarna (medical student), Dr. Rahul Mehta (internal medicine resident) and senior author Dr. Eric Smith (stroke neurologist), conducted a systematic review – basically, a study of studies.
Nine studies specifically looked at hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy and its relationship to future risk of stroke.
The studies followed women for anywhere from one to 32 years after a pregnancy, and found consistent evidence that those with a history of hypertension in pregnancy are more likely to experience stroke in later life.
Hypertension is the most common medical problem encountered during pregnancy, complicating two to three per cent of all pregnancies. It can pose many risks, such as a decrease in blood flow to the placenta or early delivery.
Women are closely monitored throughout pregnancy for changes in blood pressure, but there are currently no specific recommendations regarding stroke-related screening or preventive measures post-partum.
"These women should be more closely followed for a re-emergence of hypertension, as well as for cholesterol, diabetes or other markers of increased risk of stroke," says Dr. Ganesh.
The exact cause of hypertension during pregnancy is undetermined, but one theory is that some women are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure and the pregnancy brings it on. Even though it might return to normal post-partum, these women need to monitor their blood pressure and to reduce their risk of having a stroke later on.
"Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke," says Dr. Michael Hill, co-chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress. "Knowing your blood pressure may be one of the most important steps you can take to reducing stroke risk, something that is particularly true among women with a history of pregnancy-associated hypertension."
"It's important for women to be aware of their blood pressure, and potential changes to it, during pregnancy," says Ian Joiner, director of stroke at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. "An increase is an indication that they should to talk to their doctor about their risk factors and overall vascular health. The bottom line is that it's important that women with pregnancy-related hypertension routinely monitor their blood pressure throughout their lives."
The Canadian Stroke Congress is a joint initiative of the Canadian Stroke Network, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Canadian Stroke Consortium.
Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Vascular 2013 host organizations' policy or position. They make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.
The Canadian Stroke Network, canadianstrokenetwork.ca, is a national research network headquartered at the University of Ottawa. It includes scientists, clinicians and health-policy experts committed to reducing the impact of stroke.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation's mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. A volunteer-based health charity, we strive to tangibly improve the health of every Canadian family, every day. 'Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.' Heartandstroke.ca
Vascular 2013 is a unique, one-time Canadian event bringing four separate scientific meetings together under one roof: the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, the Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professional Conference, the Canadian Stroke Congress and the Canadian Hypertension Congress. vascular2013.ca
It is a joint initiative of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Hypertension Canada.
For more information and/or interviews, contact the VASCULAR 2013 MEDIA OFFICE AT 514-789-3402 (Oct 17-20)
ORMassy Forget Langlois Public Relations
Jane Diane Fraser | EurekAlert!
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy